How To Promote Your Book Politely And Still Keep Your Friends

A little list of how to promote your book, nicely.

Being flooded with ‘Please read my book’ and ‘check out my new book now’ requests on various forums, I thought it may be time to scribble a few hints for newly self-published authors. I am so tempted to title this list of hints ‘Don’t annoy people before they’ve discovered your book’, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll settle for this.

Ten Helpful Do And Don’t Hints On How To Promote Your Book Politely

1. DO NOT direct message people on any forum asking them to read your new brilliant masterpiece. It’s a guaranteed method for really annoying people, and poof, there goes a bundle of potential readers or book buyers in an instant (message).

2. DO engage with people on social media. The rule of social networking is to make contacts, make friends, make fans, make buyers. Don’t ever think there’s a short-cut to this formula.

3. DO have a blog and a website. These are the most suitable places to have your book buy links and book reviews. But make sure you have some decent content as well, to show off your writing skills. Yes, your writing skills need to be front and centre. Readers are very selective so they will never just click and buy your book without a good very reason to do so. Attract their interest with your writing.

4. DO NOT pretend. Be yourself no matter what. You’ll only succeed if people are genuinely interested in you because you are genuine.

5. DO be careful about how you respond to reviews. Perhaps thank book bloggers, but directly and not in the blog’s comments. You can click yes to ‘Was this review helpful to you?’ for an Amazon review, which helps add a little weight to a good review. However, never respond to bad reviews, no matter how upset you may be. Leave them alone and ignore them, as any reaction from you will only inflame, and directly harm your author reputation.

6. DO NOT try to flood the Internet with your book. It’s flooded already, so who will notice you? Be targeted and know your potential market. (I know mine, but that’s my secret!)

7. DO use bookmarking sites and social media to promote your blog. A well written and topical blog post can potentially go viral. This is the very best way to get some real attention, but be careful. Don’t over do it. I post most days, and perhaps once a month a post really goes mad. Be patient and again, write well.

8. DO learn how to format anchor text in your links. Nothing looks more amateur than posting a web address link like this.
It should look like this: Get HAL Here. Or more preferable, your link should be embedded in an image.

9. DO NOT write boring, clichéd short bios on social media sites and blogs. You’re supposed to be a writer. If you can’t write a decent bio about yourself, give up writing and take up pottery. Or at least hire a copywriter to do it for you.

10. DO be patient. Most overnight successes take about 30 years on average, so don’t rush it. Learn to walk before you start running.

Now if you’re still reading, there are, of course, a lot more do’s and don’t’s to book marketing, but this short list will get you started. Use your head and think before you jump. My golden rule is, how I would react if I came across myself and my book marketing. Too simple?

Want to discover more about Derek Haines? He writes regularly about publishing and writing on Just Publishing Advice and blogs his personal thoughts as The Vandal.